Last night I went to a village called Hope in Tobago to listen to my friend Marcia Miranda sing. It was a small crowd and the chairs were placed quite a distance from the small stage. As Marcia got on stage she asked the people in the audience to come a little closer – she wanted to feel some energy and warmth as she eased into her performance. Guess who immediately got up and moved their chairs front, centre stage? That’s right! THE CHILDREN.
I watched a couple adults move but none to where the kids sat. As Marcia progressed through her repertoire, I felt the collective energy of each child rocking on their chairs, thoroughly enjoying the moment. And then she asked them to join her on stage! They could not get up there fast enough and with just one simple request, she got them all engaged in an upward hand slapping motion every time “The Tiefin’ Parang Band” made off with something else! 🙂
‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-4).
Did I join the children on stage you ask? Of course not! I was too self conscious as perhaps were the other adults.
But it got me thinking about how much more fun life could be if we could regularly step outside of our comfort zones and just DO things! How would my life be different if I were a little more spontaneous and a little less controlling and structured – wanting things to be perfect?
This morning I stumbled upon an interview with Ani DiFranco aptly titled Out on a Limb by Anil Prasad. I believe I was Googling ‘out on a limb’ and it surfaced….not too important… but Ani’s response here was:
“I’ve had a few conversations in the last few years with younger artists I admire. I guess the situation was mutual. I was hearing from younger people who listened to me coming up that my work emboldened them in some way. They thanked me for my “go-out-on-a-limb-itude” and my push-the-envelope nature. So, I started thinking about the role that I play…”
Ani’s willingness to go out on a limb…her Star Trek nature – to boldly go where no man or woman has gone before through song – her ability to maintain the child like spirit of humility and sincerity, without trying to make an impression, emboldened others.
And she understands the importance of keeping the balance between learning, collaborating and self expression…
“So, we exposed each other to stuff and influenced one another. I really loved that sense of community. But in terms of my relationship with my art, I can get a little lost, because I am such a sponge and so influenceable. Sometimes I get off track with my work and I have to check back in with my solo self to get my music-making grounded again. So, both situations are cool.”
Always check in with the child in you – the expressor, the adventurer, the spontaneity lover, the one who wants to just have some fun and be THAT person!
I did have fun last night but I wonder just how much more the moment would have been had I tapped into the child in me?